Know your noodles for Asian goodness 

Published 11:23 am Wednesday, April 19, 2023

By Kara Kimbrough 

 I’ve been open about my obsession with soup. I could easily eat soup every day of the week with one caveat: someone else would have to make it. 

As much as I love and in fact, do make soup quite often, it’s a time-consuming chore if done right. As a result, I’m always searching for restaurants with homemade (not shipped from a warehouse in a can) soups.  

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  A new favorite soup that’s been around awhile but has only recently hit my radar is worth a mention. 

Originating in Vietnam, pho (pronounced fuh) is a light, flavorful soup composed of clear flavorful broth, thin slices of beef, a combination of spices and my favorite part, flat rice noodles. 

If rice noodles are hard to find, fettuccini, linguini and angel hair pasta are acceptable substitutions.

  Pho (not to be confused with ramen bowls, which are made with bone broth, pork and wheat noodles) is a versatile soup that can be made with either beef or chicken for protein or omitted altogether for a vegetarian version. 

Despite its simplicity, pho is usually adorned with some type of greenery. Regular toppings are sprigs of cilantro, mint leaves, bean sprouts and slices of lemon or lime. Crispy wonton strips are my topping of choice.   

The best thing about pho? It’s a light, “clean” soup; the perfect antidote if you’re suffering from any type of ailment or are simply in need of a healthy meal.  

If you haven’t sampled pho and want to make it at home, email me and I’ll send an easy-to-make recipe. 

While it’s simple, the recipe is a little too lengthy to add here, so I’m including a new vegetable beef soup recipe given to me by a friend. With a spicier broth, it takes plain ol’ vegetable to an entirely new level.

Spicy Vegetable Beef Soup

1 pound ground chuck (or leftover roast or steak slices)

1 medium onion, diced

1 (24-ounce) jar pasta sauce

1 can beef broth

1 cup water

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained

1 (10-ounce) can Rotel tomatoes, undrained

2 tablespoons ketchup

2 potatoes, sliced and cubed (or 2 cups country-style hash browns)

1 package frozen mixed vegetables

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper


   Cook the beef and onion in a large nonstick skillet. When beef is no longer pink, drain off grease and transfer the beef/onion mixture to a 6-quart Crockpot. Add remaining ingredients and stir together. Cover and cook on low or 6 to 8 hours or on high for 5 to 6 hours.

 Kara Kimbrough is a food and travel writer from Mississippi. Email her at